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  Supermarine Walrus II Serial Number HD865  
8 CU

Former Assignments

Pilot  P/O R. S. Smith, 23957 (survived)
Crew  F/Sgt J. G. Laycock, 495746 (survived)
Crew  F/Sgt W. P. McCutcheon, 426138 (survived)
Crew  David Charles Tait, 425377 (MIA) Greenslopes, QLD
Crashed  March 31, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Supermarine. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and resassembled.

Wartime History
On September 14, 1943 reassembled by Qantas. On December 2, 1943 assigned to 2 FBRD. On March 3, 1944 assigned to 8 Communication Unit (8 CU). No known nickname or nose art.

Wartime History
On March 31, 1944 during take off near Salamo on Fergusson Island piloted by P/O R. S. Smith, one wing dipped and came into contact with the sea causing the plane to capsize. The crew escaped except for Tait, who went down with the aircraft was listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Tait was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized at the Port Moresby Memorial, panel 9 at Bomana War Cemetery.

CWGC - David Charles Tait
ADF Serials - A2 Supermarine Seagull & Walrus - Walrus II HD865
National Archives of Australia (, Series No. A705, File # 66/39/253, Item Barcode: 1081726. Tait, David Charles - (Flight Sergeant); Service No. 425377; File Type: Casualty-Repatriation; Place: Salamo, Ferguson Island, PNG; Date: 31st March, 1944. Access Status: OPEN. Location: Canberra. The following servicemen are mentioned in this report. Additional notes: Laycock JG (Flt/Sgt) 495746; McCutcheon WP (Flt/Sgt) 426138; Smith RS (Pilot Officer) 23957. Walrus HD865 was taking off when its wing dipped and came into contact with the water, the plane crashed. All escaped except Tait, who went down with the aircraf and was classified as MIA.

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Last Updated
October 14, 2019


Tech Info

1 Missing
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